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Why Does Video-based Learning Work in M-learning and Microlearning?

Before we get down to why video-based learning works in microlearning and mobile learning, let’s look at why video works in the first place. Video is engaging, interactive, social, and a very successful strategy for training students who are disinterested, tired, stressed, and slow (adjectives that interestingly describe corporate learners as well). So, with this knowledge on why video works in learning, let’s dive right into its use and success in microlearning and mobile learning.

We Love Moving Images

One billion hours of video are watched every day – and this is a YouTube statistic alone. (All YouTube statistics provided in this blog can be accessed here, unless specified otherwise).

We love moving images (whether it’s an animated movie, live action, a featured length film, or a short film). There is no doubt regarding their plot because they engage two important sense organs – the eyes and the ears – sight and audio that clarify and support what we see and hear – something our brain relies on for understanding, learning, and retaining information. “What about silent movies?” – you may ask. Silent movies were very popular once upon a time and silent videos can be used in training, although there are principles that govern their use.

Video-based Learning is Easily Accessible on Mobile Devices

YouTube, on mobile devices, reaches 18-49-year old’s in the US more than any TV network.

Devices are convenient, we carry them around wherever we go, we can’t do without them. It’s not an addiction, but a very deep need to stay connected and knowledgeable. With technological advancements video consumption on mobiles has skyrocketed.

That we access videos on our mobile devices is not an unfathomable truth. However, the fact that this is a trend that is seen among 18 – 49-year-olds, is something to think about: That covers three (of the most important) generations of today’s workers – Gen Z, Y, and X! So, video has the potential of reaching three generations of employees, on devices that they are comfortable with, in a manner they are familiar with. It would be unfair to not mention the Baby Boomers; contrary to what we believe of them, they are technologically savvy, and do access videos on their mobile devices as well.

Video-based Learning Can Be Standalone

Microlearning is all about delivering:

  • Useful content
  • Information that covers one learning objective
  • Only need-to-know information
  • Content that can be accessed instantly, when it is needed the most

A short video that covers one learning objective (for example, steps on how to replace a flat tire), can work as a standalone microlearning asset that can work on its own, making it a successful microlearning strategy.

Another way to use video for microlearning is to embed a video link into a microlearning course. While the content does not form a part of the must-know-information of the microlearning nugget, it would contain related nice-to-know information. Taking the same example on how to replace a flat tire, a link to a video on different types of tire levers could be provided for information that is related to the course, but not necessary to the course itself.

Video-based Learning Does Not Need To Be Standalone

The average mobile-viewing session lasts for 40 minutes.

Lengthy video cannot be used as a microlearning strategy; however, it can be used as a part of a regular mobile learning course. Again, these videos can be embedded within the course itself, or as a link. The length of a video will not have a negative impact on learning so long as it is relevant and engaging.

Video-based Learning Can Be Shared

Video sharing is on the rise – the main reason for this is that we live in an age of collaboration. We share what we learn; and we want to learn what others know. And what starts out simply as sharing a video, turns into a conversation that surpasses the content of the video to include sharing ideas, suggestions and new knowledge. Learners can use their mobile devices to create and share their own videos.

Technological advancements, and the easy access to smartphones and other high-end mobile devices will make it easier to access, upload, download, and share videos. The time to join the mobile learning movement is now.

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